AACC exhibits student art


Jenna Lagoey

AACC displays student art in the Health and Life Sciences building, outside of the Humanities building and elsewhere on campus.

Jenna Lagoey and Vance Wild

An exhibition in the CADE gallery that runs from May 10 to June 10 will feature around 30 student artworks. 

Four or five of these pieces will become part of AACC’s permanent student collection, which started 20 years ago. Student paintings, drawings, sculptures, and photographs will go on display in CADE, the Health and Life Sciences building, the sculpture garden, the library and other buildings on campus.

“It is a chance for students to get their work out there,” CADE Gallery Director Teddy Johnson, who teaches art classes at AACC, said. 

Art professor Chris Mona founded AACC’s student collection in 2001.

Every year the college purchases a few pieces of art from the student exhibition and rotates the work among buildings.

Mona said a professor from a Maryland university juries the show each year and selects the pieces for the exhibition. The student artists can decide if they want to make their pieces available for purchase.

This year’s juror is Eric Briscoe, coordinator for visual arts at Morgan State University.“They set their price,” Mona said. “And so the juror selects work for the students to show and additionally, he or she selects pieces for the student collection.”

Johnson said the displays are important as they prime students to interact with the art market.

“Then another thing … is your resume building,” Johnson said. “So when you’re in the fine arts, when you’re trying to get to that next stage, you’re not just showing people your work, but you’re telling people what you’ve done with your work and being able to say that your work is in a permanent collection there and be a being able to put in some lines on that art resume. And it serves a couple purposes. One, to have their work seen … to receive payment for your work, to let it start to become a profession.”

Mona said the induction of new works paused during COVID-19. This is the first time the exhibition will be in person in two years.
“We did have a gap of two years, when we were virtual,” Mona said. “It didn’t make any sense to be collecting then. It would have been pretty impossible to do that.”The campus recently began displaying artwork in the Health and Life Sciences building. 

“I would like to get some pieces on our Glen Burnie campus,” Mona said. “That’s the one
location where we don’t have any pieces yet.”

Rob Muir, a sculpture student who has been taking classes at AACC for eight years, praised the student art collection. Muir contributed to pieces on display on the Arnold campus and in the county.

Creating work to display on campus “was a learning experience,” Muir said.  “I could praise it up by saying ‘student-inspired student creativity.’”Barbra Sauce, an artist who has worked with a variety of mediums while taking art classes at AACC for over 20 years, said the public displays of work she has been a part of remind her of all the effort put into creating them.
“It’s a joy, especially since it reminds me of that collaborative process.” Sauce said.